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The Back-to-Back NBA Champion LA Lakers Offseason Thread

Laker Free Agents

Phil Jackson - It's being reported that he's strongly leaning toward returning. The only potential hiccup would be Dr. Buss trying to slash his salary. Considering the ownership's commitment to success, I'd be very surprised if something didn't get worked out.

Derek Fisher - A virtual lock to be re-signed. For all of his misgivings, he is the emotional leader of the team, and once again came up huge in the postseason. He'll probably get a two year deal as a sign of respect from the Buss family, around $3.5M per year.

Jordan Farmar - Farmar is probably gone. He is a restricted free agent, which means that the Lakers can match any offer that he receives, but my impression is that they will let him walk. He's expressed a desire to spread his wings in a more open court offense, and the triangle doesn't match his skill set. He competed hard for the Lakers this postseason, and I wish him well if he does in fact go elsewhere.

Shannon Brown - Brown holds a player option on his contract, which he probably won't exercise, but has expressed a desire to stay in LA and a separate contract should be worked out. I believe that they will come to an agreement on a 2 year contract worth around $5M, with a team option for a 3rd year.

Josh Powell - Probably gone. The Lakers will likely look to sign a better PF/C at the vet minimum, and there are several available.

DJ Mbenga - I think Mbenga's a 50/50 shot to come back. If so, he'll get a minimum contract.

Adam Morrison - Goner.

So that leaves us with this roster. Let's say Mbenga doesn't re-sign:

PG: Derek Fisher
SG: Kobe Bryant, Shannon Brown, Sasha Vujacic
SF: Ron Artest, Luke Walton
PF: Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom
C: Andrew Bynum


Team Needs

-Outside Shooting
-Someone who can get to the hoop
-Athleticism


What I think the Lakers will look to do in Free Agency

With Farmar's departure being likely, our most obvious need is at the PG spot. With that in mind, I believe that one of the following 5 players will be a Laker next season.


Earl Watson - Watson is a solid veteran that the Lakers will likely strongly consider. If I had to put my money on one guy signing with the Lakers, it would be him. He's a superb defender at the PG spot, but is a streaky jump shooter and not great at getting to the hoop. Only a so-so distributor as well. Has a nice nasty streak in him, and would fit in well with the defensive mentality of this team. A Watson/Kobe/Artest/Gasol/Bynum defensive squad is a pretty enticing prospect.

Steve Blake - Blake is a steady veteran with a high B-ball IQ, and an excellent catch & shoot player. Decent defender. Not a guy who can get to the hoop or finish all that well, but would likely organize the 2nd unit's offense in a way that Farmar did not. He would be a severe downgrade in transition though.

Luke Ridnour - From the "God, I hope not" files, Ridnour is an option for the Lakers. Despite being the distributing PG in the group, he's very poor on the defensive end and only a so-so catch & shoot guy. Doesn't seem like a good fit for a team that runs the triangle, but he's a possibility if the Lakers want a "pure PG".

Tracy McGrady - Well wouldn't this be a nice and juicy subplot to next season? There are rumors that McGrady is strongly interested in playing for the Lakers, and would a role off of the bench. While he isn't a PG, he would likely fill that role on offense, with Shannon Brown guarding PGs on the other end. As presently constructed, Kobe is the only Laker that can get to the hoop and create shots for others, and T-Mac would be a welcome addition in this respect. Of course there are concerns about his health, but I believe it's worth the risk. He's the player I'd want most out of this group.


The second, smaller (but important) signing I believe that we'll make is for veteran, front court depth. I believe that we'll sign either Kurt Thomas or Joe Smith, with Thomas being more likely. With Bynum's injury issues, it would be wise to address our front court depth.

Raja Bell: Added to the list due to rumors. He would make a lot of sense in the respect that he's intelligent, defensive minded, and can knock down a catch and shoot three pointer. If we sign him, keeping Shannon Brown is a must though, IMO, due to his athleticism. As is true with all of these guys, what we'd lose in athleticism will be gained in intelligence. The Farmar/Brown backcourt was a dumb one.

NBA Draft

The Lakers own the 43rd & 58th picks in this year's draft, as Memphis owns our 1st round pick, which finishes up the Pau Gasol trade. I actually think that one or both of our picks is going to make the team this year, despite being a 2nd rounder. I believe that we can address some of our athletic deficiencies in these spots.

Here are some of my favorite prospects that may be available at these spots, or guys that the Lakers have worked out.

Jarvis Varnado PF - This is the guy I want the most. For some reason, a lot of mocks have the NCAA all time leader in blocked shots slipping down into the Laker's area. It's his one real NBA skill, but he's dominant at it. Blocks shots with both hands, has ridiculous length, and great timing. The idea of the Lakers getting a shot changer like this guy in the 2nd round makes me shake my head.

Mikhail Torrance, PG - If it isn't Varnado, Torrance is my 2nd choice. Has great size for a PG (6'5", 209lbs) and is a very good athlete. Has legitimate PG distributing skills, as well as the tools to become a very good defender. I think he has the potential to fit in very well in LA.

He's #2 in this video. Nothing incredible here, but you can see his size, length, & glimpses of his athleticism.

Charles Garcia, SF/PF

Garcia's a bit of a mystery. He has lottery talent, but apparently a 10 cent head, which is why he plays at Seattle University. All of seen of the guy is this clip, and it inspired me to read up on him. He's 6'10", mobile, and explosive, as you're about to see.

Matt Bouldin, PG/SG

I'm not a huge fan, but the Lakers have worked him out. I don't think he has the lateral quickness to be a factor in the league.

Alexey Shved

A 6'7" PG out of Russia that's intriguing. Has a bit of Goran Dragic to his game.


Final Roster

In a big picture sense, we're looking for depth that can minimize the wear & tear on our core group. Fisher/Bryant/Artest/Gasol/Bynum/Odom are going to get the lion's share of the minutes when games are on the line, but if we can get guys that can minimize the stress of the mileage that's put on during the regular season AND contribute in small doses in the playoffs, it will be a successful offseason.

PG: Derek Fisher, Earl Watson, 2nd Round pick
SG: Kobe Bryant, Shannon Brown, Sasha Vujacic
SF: Ron Artest, Luke Walton
PF: Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom
C: Andrew Bynum, Kurt Thomas, 2nd Round pick

That's the squad that we're most likely to see at the beginning of next year, IMO. OKC's athleticism concerns me against that group, but against anyone else that would be a really tough squad to beat in a 7 game series. And T-Mac instead of Watson would be very, very intriguing.

[ Edited by LA9erFan on Jun 22, 2010 at 19:43:05 ]
Let's do this.
would fisher except a role coming off the bench???
Originally posted by FredFlintstone:
would fisher except a role coming off the bench???

I don't know, but I don't think it's a good idea to take the "starter" title from him. Less minutes? PLEASE. But I'd be afraid that the team would view that as a sign of disrespect to him, and wouldn't take it well. Even if it's just honorary (during the regular season, anyway) the smart move is to keep Fisher as the starter, IMO. It's not like any of the guys that are available are top notch PGs anyway.
WARRIORS IN 2011 !
Originally posted by YuNGaCE:
WARRIORS IN 2011 LOTTERY!

This.
Charles Garcia played bball down here at the local community college (RCC) before leaving prematurely for what I thought was U-Dub but somehow became Seattle U (I dont follow the kid so I dont quite know how it all happened, but my understanding was that he was transferring out of RCC to U-Dub and so yeah), hes a local & it'd be nice to see us draft another local product (especially if we're to lose our currently local product in Farmar)

Is there any reasonable and possible way of getting rid of Luke Walton? Is there anything at all desirable about his contract or any team/management in the NBA who would trade for him? I really do feel like he is useless, BEYOND useless, I cringe when he goes into the game, and I do not like the idea of him winning any more rings while providing absolutely nothing...at least Ammo gives us that umph off the bench with his fashionable suits and enthusiasm as guys are coming in during timeouts and what not...
Did any of you guys see these f**kin guys in Boston... what they did to Bill Walton?

Walton gets hung up on by Boston Radio Station
One of my Laker Friends has thrown out the idea of a sign and trade for Chris Bosh.

He suggests that Bynum and Odom would be going the other way.

Is that even possible? Would it make sense for the raptors
i dont want chris bosh!
Not sure if this was posted, but it's pretty crazy... I just heard about it. I think it really happened.

http://forums.lakersground.net/viewtopic.php?t=112219
Originally posted by sacniner:
Not sure if this was posted, but it's pretty crazy... I just heard about it. I think it really happened.

http://forums.lakersground.net/viewtopic.php?t=112219

This is old news. Pretty f**ked up, but old news.
Originally posted by socalfan21:
Did any of you guys see these f**kin guys in Boston... what they did to Bill Walton?

Walton gets hung up on by Boston Radio Station

That's BS. His kid plays on the Lakers, what the hell does he expect? That he is going to cheer against his kid because he played with Boston at the end of his career? What a jacka55
Originally posted by jrg:

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